As the basis for countless Commander and constructed decks creature types and the support they receive is always a talking point in MTG. Unfortunately, however, despite how important they are, beloved creature types can often be left lacking somewhat.
Throughout the years, Wizards of the Coast have created a huge number of creature types. In fact, to date, a staggering 287 unique creature types have been created. Sadly, not all of these are created equal, as Humans, Elves, Zombies, and Dragons get significantly more support. As if this wasn’t frustrating enough, some creature types get glossed over entirely thanks to catch-all terms.
Between Elemental, Horror, and Beast, Wizards can get away with batching a lot of creatures under one roof. In theory, this helps to make themed MTG decks using these creature types viable, however, it’s not all good news. By painting with a board brush, some creature types have been seriously missing out for literal decades. Thankfully, however, it seems Wizards of the Coast is finally correcting this mistake.
Beasts, but Also Other Things Too
Recently, even before Wizards confirmed anything, MTG players have been noticing a growing trend. Throughout recent sets and years, it seems that Beasts have been getting a little less popular. In the entirety of 2023, Wizards only printed three dedicated Beasts, a startling low compared to past precedent.
Considering the popularity of Beasts, having only three dedicated cards in 2023 may seem startlingly low. Thankfully, dedicated cards are the keywords here, as 2023 actually contained 27 beasts in total. The vast majority of these, however, featured other creature types such as Phyrexian, Dinosaur, Horror, and even Peasant.
By better defining exactly what each Beast is, Wizards seems to have steadily been expanding players’ Typal options. Rather than having to default to just a generic Beast deck, you can now fine-tune exactly what you’re brewing. While this is already a marketed improvement, this isn’t the only step Wizards has been taking.
As we’ve highlighted ourselves, MTG has been getting some weird, wild, and wonderfully fun creature types recently. In The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, for example, Wizards printed their first ever Capybara in 30 years. Alongside this, niche tribes such as Mouse, Racoon, Elk, and even Rabbit have seen increased support.
Picking up on this trend, Tumblr user Holychurchofgeronimostilton recently asked MTG’s Lead Designer about this obvious evidence. Asking if Wizards is “moving away from lumping animals into Beast and towards giving them their own creature types?” Holychurchofgeronimostilton hit the nail on the head. Thankfully, in responding to this question, Rosewater was incredibly clear and upfront. Simply stating “We are,” there’s no doubt about it, Wizards is indeed making more dedicated creature types.
The Beasts From Before
Considering it was rather obvious, upon hearing this confirmation from Rosewater, few players were surprised. So, instead of reveling in any new information, attention turned toward the past. If Wizards of the Coast is moving away from using Beasts, this potentially opens the door for a mass errata.
Unfortunately, to immediately rain on this parade, there’s no guarantee of such an errata happening. In most cases, Wizards errs away from needless errata to mitigate confusion, since the benefits are marginal. Despite this, there are nonetheless a lot of potential Beasts that could do with being changed.
For starters, the Beast creature type has been used for a lot of would-be types that all got lumped together. Every single Baloth in MTG, for instance, is a Beast, rather than what it says on the tin. So far, 22 Baloth have been printed, so you can’t exactly make a deck about them. Over time, however, this need could change with enough support.
Similar to Baloth, the four Gnarlid in MTG are all just Beasts, as are the four Cerodon and Gnarr. Curiously, almost all of Garruk’s creatures are also Beasts, apart from Garruk’s Warsteed which is a Rhino. While each of these could get its own namesake creature type, admittedly, they are rather beastly.
Despite their looks, if Wizards really wanted to, they could errata the above creatures nonetheless. In theory, this may sound ideal, however, it may be unwise to errata everything. Potentially, through a mass errata, MTG players could get the wrong idea about incoming support. While this isn’t the end of the world, this needless confusion could easily be avoided. As a result, it’s probably better that Wizards wait, rather than jump the gun.
A Very Beastly Set
At the end of the day, MTG players may be waiting for quite a while for Cerodon to become commonplace. While this may be disappointing to some, thankfully, an upcoming set appears to be a Typal enthusiast’s dream. Launching in Q3 of 2024, Bloomburrow will supposedly be full to the brim with adorable anthropomorphic creatures.
While we’ve only seen a few pieces of art so far, this set is almost going to certainly expand Typal archetypes. Depending on the preconstructed Commander decks we get, niche archetypes like Racoon Typal may even become a real thing. Beyond this set, hopefully, this expanded support will continue in the future now that Wizards’ approach has changed.